OPTIMAL DETERRENCE AND ACCIDENTS

The goal of optimal-deterrence-the minimization of the sum of accident costs and accident prevention costs-has remained in need of careful analysis. This article sets out schematically the ambivalent way in which the fault system approaches the goal of optimal deterrence and suggests how very differently a combination of strict liability and "collective" prohibitions might approach that same goal. It is probably more effective if when it is certain that prevention is worthwile, prevention is coerced and when it is uncertain, incentives are created to decide whether prevention is worthwhile to that class which is best suited to decide the question. The fault system (or its mirror image) does neither -- it requires a regulatory decision on whether prevention is worthwhile, even when that decision is not worthy of much reliance, and then fails to enforce that decision even when it is.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Yale Law Journal Company, Incorporated

    401-A Yale Station
    New Haven, CT  United States  06520
  • Publication Date: 1975-3

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00095516
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 10 1975 12:00AM